[ISEA2018] Paper: Vanessa Sonia Santos — Between technological precision and artistic ambiguity in Locative Art


Keywords: locative art, participatory cartography, neocartesianism, politics of mapmaking, situationism, mobile media, embodied interaction, navigation, urban space, ambiguity.

This paper discusses how ambiguity can mean a virtue rather than a problem in Locative Art domain. Pervasive media, which has the clinical precision as one of its key features, can reduce the understanding of location to a pure residue of a Cartesian coordinate system. The author argues that ambiguity, when applied to good effect in artworks supported by such monitoring
systems, can encourage new mapping metaphors, which gives less emphasis to the point-to-point correspondence of the digital tracking. To orient the discussion, this paper focuses on Chronica Mobilis example. The qualitative analysis of this experimental artwork describes how it generates a dialogue between the determinism of geo-spatial technologies and the freedom of participants’ creative and performative actions.

  • Vanessa Santos is a digital media artist and researcher. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Communication (2017), from Pompeu Fabra University (Spain). Her expertise is in audiovisual production, digital storytelling, interactive systems, locative and mobile media.
    She has collaborated with research groups involved in the study of the following topics: technology inclusion, sociotech networks, open source software for multimedia production, virtual and augmented reality based systems to experience complex data sets. The artist is interested in the creative use of technology and in the stimulus that it entails in the formulation of new narrative genres. In 2014, she integrated the research line on Locative Media of Hangar Center for Visual Arts. Her last work is “Chronica Mobilis”, an interactive and geolocated performance with gameplay, which happens in a public space. Currently, she investigates the audience experience in response to different modes of engagement.

Full text p. 61-66